Welcome to Alright, Now What?, a podcast from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Every other Wednesday, our experts and partners put an intersectional feminist lens on one topic or story we’ve all been hearing about … the issues and stories that just seem to keep resurfacing and make you wonder, “What’s this about?”, “Why is this still happening?”, and “How is it possible we haven’t fixed this yet?” We’re going to explore the systemic roots of these things and the strategies for change that will move us closer to the goal of gender justice. Listen wherever you get your podcast content.
Stitching for Sustainability - Episode 44 (January 25)
Economic stability is the ultimate goal of the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Investment Readiness Program, funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Innovation/Social Finance Strategy. It equips women and Two Spirit, trans, and non-binary people to succeed in social entrepreneurship.
Caught in the daily news cycle of rising costs and inequities, Investees of our Investment Readiness Program are a bright spot. Munira Abukar represents one such Investee in Toronto, Ontario. She’s Project Coordinator of Social Enterprise at Scadding Court Community Centre and Co-Founder of Stitch Lab T.O. Stitch Lab works with local women designers to create their own one-of-a-kind products. It offers women skill development opportunities, and their products are made from repurposed and rescued fabric.
Chilling Abuse Against Women Journalists - Episode 43 (January 11)
It’s 2023 and we’re in Season 5. We start with online harassment and hate faced by women and racialized journalists. We need them to give voice to what’s often left unheard in Canada. This makes the harassment and abuse they experience at disproportionate levels particularly vexing.
We collaborated with the Canadian Journalism Foundation and the #NotOk campaign on a discussion with journalists in December 2022. Today’s episode features a snippet of this conversation, focused on the lived experiences of our panelists. It was moderated by CBC News correspondent, Salimah Shivji. It featured Garvia Bailey, journalist, broadcaster, and co-founder of Media Girlfriends, Christina Frangou, freelance journalist and 2022 winner of the Landsberg Award, and Saba Eitizaz, Toronto Star producer and co-host of This Matters Podcast.
December 6 and Ending Femicide - Episode 41 (December 14)
Content note: this episode addresses femicide. “December 6, 1989 was a terrible moment that became a transformative movement,” writes Canadian Women’s Foundation President and CEO Paulette Senior in The Toronto Star. “Every year on December 6, we need to revive the momentum anew. Advocates made sure that the 1989 massacre led to stricter firearm laws and new anti-violence efforts. We need the same energy in 2022 to end abuse in sports and male-dominated sectors, build safety for Indigenous women, Black and racialized women, women with disabilities, and others at elevated risk, and reverse rising rates of femicide, family violence, and sexual assault we’ve seen in Canada over the last few years. There is never a year when Dec. 6 should not rejuvenate our movement.”
Corinne Ofstie (she/her), Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS), addresses the issue of femicide today. Amongst her other work, Corinne is a member of the Rebuilding Lives Committee for the Canadian Women’s Foundation and an Expert Advisory Panel member of Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability.
Ending Sexual Violence on Campus - Episode 40 (November 30)
With Ziyana Kotadia and Karen Campbell. Content note: this episode addresses sexual violence. Too Scared to Learn: Women, Violence, and Education by Jenny Horsman (2013) uncovers how violence negatively impacts a student’s ability to learn. It focusses on women’s literacy, but the broader lesson is clear. None of us can properly learn when we’re scared and targeted. This has huge implications for girls, women, and gender-diverse students in all schools, as well as huge implications for post-secondary environments like colleges and universities, where sexual violence is a particular problem.
Our first guest is Ziyana Kotadia, an advocate and writer in her final year of an Honours Specialization in Global Gender Studies and a Minor in Feminist, Queer and Critical Race Theory from Western University and Huron University College. She’s Chair of the Safe Campus Coalition and a contributor to the Our Campus, Our Safety Action Plan, a call for action from students all over Canada.
Our second guest, Karen Campbell, Director of Community Initiatives & Policy at the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She speaks new research we did in collaboration with the McGill University iMPACTS initiative, documented in a report entitled: Social Media and Mobilizing Change for Community Impacts. It explores the connection between students, social media, and sexual assault on university and college campuses.
Decolonizing Giving - Episode 39 (November 16)
In Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, Edgar Villanueva says, “What we can focus on with decolonization is stopping the cycles of abuse and healing ourselves from trauma.” He speaks to how finance, philanthropy, and the ways we “do charity” have been set up to uphold colonialism, systemic racism, and discriminatory outcomes.
Philanthropy, giving, and charity work is often seen as neutrally “worthy”. To ask questions about it can seem like an attack on something inherently good. But the way charity and philanthropy are done in Canada has a long history. There are structures and rules and practices in place that have led to troubling trends today. These trends include very few philanthropic dollars in Canada going to Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities doing things by and for their own communities. It connects to the reality that diverse women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans and non-binary people have barely benefitted from philanthropic and charity dollars over the years.
For National Philanthropy Week this week, our guest is Kris Archie (@WeyktKris on Twitter), Chief Executive Officer of The Circle on Philanthropy (The Circle).
Women and White Nationalism Part 2- Episode 38 (November 2)
White nationalism is a core concept in far-right extremism. And many experts say it’s becoming more mainstream. In Canada, it’s been the basis of all kinds of dangerous things including deadly attacks, misinformation campaigns, and harassment and hate toward public figures, politicians and journalists, particularly racialized women.
In this part two episode, we’re joined by Barbara Perry, Director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism and Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University. She holds a UNESCO Chair in Hate Studies, a field in which she has written extensively, and she is generally recognized as the leading Canadian expert on hate crime and right-wing extremism. She is regularly called upon by policy makers, practitioners, and local, national, and international media as an expert on both topics.
Women and White Nationalism Part 1- Episode 37 (October 19)
White nationalism is on the rise in Canada. What does it have to do with women?
White nationalism is a core concept in far-right extremism. And many experts say it’s becoming more mainstream. “Hate in Canada: A short guide to far-right extremist movements” (2022) says, “Far-right extremism is a form of ideologically motivated violent extremism (IMVE) – but one that is difficult to describe. There is no one, single ideology motivating these groups, but there is a shared framework of beliefs, ideas, concepts, and literature that cuts across them.”
In Canada, white nationalism has been the basis of all kinds of dangerous things, including deadly attacks, misinformation campaigns, and harassment and hate toward public figures, politicians and journalists, particularly women of colour.
In the swirl of media coverage about these issues, it can be hard to sort out what it’s about and the implications from a gender and rights perspective.
Our guest Erica Ifill offers clarifying analysis on these issues.
Feminist Journalism- Episode 36 (October 5)
Equity-seeking journalists including women and racialized reporters investigate some of the most important and hidden stories. Whether writing articles for newspapers or magazines, editing, posting on social media or digital media, or blogging, we need them to give voice to issues otherwise unheard. This makes the harassment and abuse they experience at disproportionate levels particularly vexing. It’s harmful to them as people and media workers, and it runs counter to the goal of making things better and fairer in Canada. We can’t achieve that goal without a diverse news media landscape and truth in reporting.
Every year, the Canadian Women’s Foundation presents The Landsberg Award in partnership with The Canadian Journalism Foundation to acknowledge and inspire feminist journalism It's named after iconic journalist and author, Michele Landsberg. Past winners include Connie Walker, investigative reporter behind CBC’s Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo podcast, author and journalist Elizabeth Renzetti, and Toronto Star’s Alyshah Hasham and Wendy Gillis.
We’re joined Robyn Doolittle, who won the Landsberg in 2018, and Christina Frangou, who won this year.
Young Feminists Lead Climate Justice - Episode 35 (September 21)
We’re in climate crisis – and marginalized women, girls, and gender-diverse people bear the brunt. Young climate justice leaders are ringing the alarm. It’s about time we listen.
In a sense, climate change and global warming hurts everyone. But we’re not all equally impacted. Some people have more resources to deal with fallout. Some of us are more or less protected from consequences of growing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas, emissions and the burning of fossil fuel, sea-level rise, methane, and more. It’s a matter of power.
The solution lies not only in mitigation and renewable energy. We need climate justice.
This is where gender justice comes in: the most vulnerable women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans and non-binary people experience the worst outcomes in climate crisis. And their leadership in climate solutions is more important than ever.
Young feminists are strong voices for the intertwined goal of climate justice and gender justice. We can’t have one without the other. Our guest Sydney Piggott (she/her) is a social impact leader and advocate for gender equity, climate action, and social justice on a global scale. She’s been a subject matter expert in several international forums including the Commission on the Status of Women, Women Deliver, Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference for Young Parliamentarians, and RightsCon. Passionate about supporting young changemakers, Sydney has worked with several youth initiatives focused on gender and climate justice including the Ontario Council for International Cooperation’s Youth Policy-Maker’s Hub, Apathy is Boring’s RISE program, Community Knowledge Exchange’s Cohort X, and the Online Thinkathon Challenge in partnership with the European Union. She is also a contributor at Btchcoin News and a member of the Equal Futures Network Advisory Committee. Sydney brings an intersectional feminist lens to all of her work, informed by her proud Afro-Caribbean heritage.
Girls, Rape Culture and Colonialism - Episode 33 (August 24)
Content note: this episode addresses sexual violence.
We’ve all been exposed to rape culture, but girls and non-binary youth experience it differently depending on who they are. We don’t always catch these nuances. We’re not always listening the way we should. With back-to-school season coming up, we need to talk about interventions. How are we going push for an end to sexual violence for all young people, of all identities and backgrounds?
Our guest Dr. Mythili Rajiva is associate professor at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa, which is on unceded and unsurrendered Alqonquin territory. Her areas of academic research include intersectionality, feminist media studies, trauma, racialization, sexual violence, girlhood, South Asian diaspora and identity.
Groundbreaking Inquest in Renfrew County - Episode 31 (July 27)
On September 22nd, 2015, Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam were murdered by their former partner in Renfrew County, Ontario. Three lives were taken on one day. And friends, family and neighbors were left grappling with the pain of it. On June 28th, 2022, a jury on the inquest into these women’s deaths recommended that the province declare intimate partner violence an epidemic. What does this mean? Why is it groundbreaking? Pamela Cross joins us today. She is a feminist lawyer and a well-known and respected expert on gender-based violence and the law. She’s a researcher, writer, educator, advocate, and trainer. She’s the legal director of Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre in Durham, ON.
Reproductive Justice - Episode 27 (June 1)
The anticipated overturn of Roe v. Wade, a 1973 US Supreme Court decision that established abortion access as a constitutional right, highlights the importance of reproductive justice everywhere. Achieving a gender equal Canada requires true reproductive justice. The ability to make informed choices about your health should be a basic right. In Canada, even with legislative standards and legal precedence in place, the lived realities of women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans, and non-binary people have not matched that right.
What are the implications of this news in Canada? What’s the state of reproductive rights and access here today?
Meghan Doherty, Director of Global Policy & Advocacy at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, joins us to talk about it.
Mothers at the Breaking Point- Episode 26 (May 18)
Overworked, overwhelmed, undervalued. Last May, we launched The Mother Rising, a campaign to draw attention to the voices of diverse mothers and caregivers in Canada. We learned that many of them were at their breaking point in the pandemic. Their mental health was suffering, and the burdens were even greater for those facing poverty, multiple forms of discrimination, and gender-based violence.
Our follow-up research in May 2022 finds that circumstances have not improved. Mothers are disproportionately impacted today, especially when it comes to their health and careers.
Stacey Rodas, Manager of Public Relations and Online Engagement at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, led this research process and joins us now to talk about it.
Sexual Assault Evidence Kits - Episode 25 (May 4)
Content note: this episode addresses sexual violence.
“Not every Ontario hospital has rape evidence kits,” reads a recent Toronto Star headline. “A proposed law would change that.” May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month, and the issue of sexual assault evidence kits not being available to survivors in all hospitals - in Ontario and throughout Canada - is an important one. But sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes. Survivors may not feel safe enough to report in the first place. Evidence collection is just one piece of a complicated puzzle.
What’s the issue with sexual assault evidence kits in hospitals? And what’s the deeper story about evidence, reporting, supporting survivors, and ultimately, ending sexual violence? Nicole Pietch, Writer and Advocate at the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC), joins us to share her insights.
Promises and Pitfalls of Canada's Federal Budget - Episode 24 (April 20)
The 2022 Federal Budget says that 44% of its investments are gender neutral, 42% benefit men more than women, and just 14% benefit women more than men. What this all means can be a bit confusing. Why should we look at the budget with a critical lens, and can it really move the needle on gender justice? Ann Decter, Senior Director of Community Initiatives and Policy at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, provides helpful explanations, starting with the basics: what, why, and how.
Refugee Experiences are Gendered - Episode 23 (April 6)
We're mindful of crises in the Ukraine, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, and other regions of the world. The goal of gender justice in Canada is intertwined with the goals of peace and safety all over the globe. But the distinct needs of women, girls, and gender-diverse people fleeing conflict as refugees and the interplay of discrimination like racism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism are underrecognized in our responses and in the settlement process. What do we mean when we say that refugee experiences are gendered?
Sizwe Inkingi, Coordinator of the Positive Spaces Initiative at the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), joins us to talk about it. OCASI acts as a collective voice for immigrant-serving agencies and coordinates response to shared needs and concerns. Its membership is comprised of more than 200 community-based organizations.
Mind the Gender Pay Gap- Episode 22 (March 23)
It's 2022 and the gender pay gap still hurts us. What does the data say? And what are some real life stories behind the numbers?
The gender pay gap refers to the difference in average earnings of people based on gender. It’s a widely recognized indicator of gender inequities, and it exists across industries and professional levels. There are different ways to measure the gap, but no matter how you cut it, the gap still exists. And it’s not just about gender. Gender pay gaps are worse for those who face multiple barriers, including racialized women, Indigenous women, and women with disabilities. Though it differs by age group, the gap starts from young and carries into the senior years.
Ahead of Equal Pay Day on April 12, Suzanne Duncan, Vice-President of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, tell us stories of where they’ve heard about the gap or experienced it in their own lives.
Exploring Misogynoir - Episode 20 (February 23)
Misogynoir is a term coined by Moya Bailey to describe the unique form of anti-Black sexism faced by Black women. It’s a key topic explored in the documentary, Subjects of Desire, an award-winning documentary written, directed, and produced by Jennifer Holness and Hungry Eyes Media. The film explores Black women and beauty standards and interrelated topics like misogynoir and gender-based violence.
Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women's Foundation, joins us to talk about these essential matters as we recognize and mark Black History Month as well as look forward to International Women’s Day on March 8.
A Feminist Lens on Alt-Right Ideology - Episode 19 (February 9)
We’ve seen breaking news about the rise of alt-right ideology and its connections with misogyny, racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination and oppression. It’s not new, but in the COVID-19 pandemic context, it’s resurging in contemporary ways. How does this ideology stand at odds with the goal of gender justice and what do we need to do to address it?
Luna KC joins us on these important issues. Along with her coauthors at the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF), Luna wrote “The Rise of the Alt-Right in Canada: A Feminist Analysis”. She also did research on women and COVID-19 in Canada. Luna is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Network on Women, Peace, and Security at McGill University. Her work focuses on these very issues and sits at the nexus of women and warfare, gender justice, peace activism, and intersectionality.
The State of Gender Justice - Episode 18 (January 26)
After nearly 2 years of a global pandemic with severely gendered impacts, how are women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans, and non-binary people fairing today? What do the losses in three decades of gender equality gains and alarming trends mean when we’re searching for a better way forward? What is the state of gender justice in Canada at the top of 2022?
Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, recently wrote about this topic in The Hill Times, saying, “We need gender justice pursued at a level, pace, and sophistication Canada has not yet known.” In this episode, Paulette gives us deeper insight into what’s so concerning about the state of gender justice today and where we need to go.
Is Feminism No Longer the F-Word? - Episode 17 (January 12)
A new survey by Environics Institute for Survey Research shows that 57% of women in Canada identify as feminists, a big increase from the past. The number is especially high for young women aged 18 to 24. In addition to that, 40% of men consider themselves feminists, and 90% of people in Canada believe we need to do more to promote gender equality.
Is feminism no longer considered a "bad word"? Is calling yourself a feminist less stigmatized and is feminism actually ... trending? What does this mean for the future of feminist movements and our goals of gender justice? Michelle Musindo, Manager of Community Initiatives at the Canadian Women's Foundation, shares her perspectives and addresses the impacts of young feminists today. She also gives a helpful book recommendation in honour of the passing of bell hooks, the legendary Black feminist scholar.
Femicide is on the Rise - Episode 16 (December 29)
The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability recently reported that, in 2020 and 2021, the rate of femicide – murders of women because they are women – has been on the rise. In Canada, a woman is killed by her current or former partner an average of every 6 days. That’s a pretty frightening and unacceptable number. And that was the number before the pandemic’s spike in risk of abuse.
What is femicide, exactly? What can we do to end this completely preventable form of gender-based violence as we move into a new year?
Anuradha Dugal, Vice President of Community Initiatives at the Canadian Women’s Foundation and a representative of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, joins us to speak about this issue.
Content note: this episode features discussion of femicide and intimate partner abuse. If you need access to support, you can find a list of services that may be useful to you on our website.
A Better Response to Abuse - Laura's Story - Episode 15 (December 15)
As we move into the holiday season, we have seen more news stories about gender-based violence. For every case we do learn about, there are many we don't know about. Those facing violence aren't always safe enough to tell anyone what's happening. Sometimes, they fear a response of judgement, disbelief, or retaliation. And sometimes the response they get is a complicated mixed bag with both positive and negative elements. Addressing gender-based violence and the gender injustice that underlies it means reflecting on these complexities and paying attention to diverse experiences of survivors. Laura, a friend of the Canadian Women's Foundation, shares her personal experiences and insights about the key ingredients of a better response to signs and signals of abuse.
Content note: this episode features a personal experience of intimate partner violence. If you need access to support, you can find a list of services that may be useful to you on our website.
Transgender Day of Remembrance - Episode 13 (November 17)
November 20 is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time to remember and honour the lives of trans and gender-diverse people murdered due to hate, prejudice, and discrimination. It was first held in 1999 to honour the memory of Rita Hester, whose 1998 murder in Boston, Massachusetts remains unsolved. In Canada, violence against diverse Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people is high and their experiences of gender-based violence is unique. But when we talk about gender-based violence, we rarely focus on their unique experiences, nor have we historically centred their solutions and ideas for change. Fae Johnstone, public speaker, consultant, educator and community organizer, joins us to shine a spotlight on the issues and the changes that need to happen.
The Signal for Help - Bonus Episode 12 (November 10)
This episode will get you up to speed on what's been going on with the Signal for Help, a simple one-handed gesture you can make without leaving a digital trace. It means "I need you to check in with me safely." We launched it in April 2020 in response to an increased risk of gender-based violence in the pandemic. By July 2020, 1 in 3 people in Canada knew about it or saw it being used and it had gone viral all over the world ... including on Tik Tok. Last week, we learned of a missing 16-year-old girl in the United States who used it in distress in a moving car and someone saw her and called 911. She was helped out of a dangerous situation and the person driving the car was arrested. We have gotten a lot of media interest in the Signal for Help and on the broader issue of what it means to support survivors of violence. Suzanne Duncan, Vice-President of Philanthropy at the Canadian Women's Foundation, addresses this huge spike in interest and what we can do to transform our culture of stigma to a culture of support.
The Trouble With Leaning In - Episode 11 (November 3)
Many of us know what it's like to be told to "lean in". And there are lots of articles on how women and equity-seeking people can better ask for what they need and want at work. It's all meant as helpful advice, but especially in a pandemic where we've experienced historic setbacks in gender equity in the labour market, how helpful is it? Does "leaning in" actually work? What are the more useful questions to ask about building gender justice at work, and what are some of the more useful answers? Sagal Dualeh, Director of the Investment Readiness Program at the Canadian Women's Foundation, speaks to this issue broadly, as well as to her specific work changing the landscape of entrepreneurship so more of us can access its opportunities and promises.
The Future for Millennials and Gen Z - Episode 10 (October 20)
In this back-to-school season, we launched the Got Your Back campaign to support girls and gender-diverse young people in their struggles with mental health, healthy relationships, identity, belonging, and confidence in the pandemic. It got us thinking about the future ramifications for diverse girls and young people – both millennials and Gen Z. We’re joined by Anjum Sultana, National Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications at YWCA Canada, who shares what it would take to prevent a “lockdown generation” and why planning for the long-term is so important … especially since policy solutions too often take a short-term approach.
Trafficking: Learnings From the Grassroots - Episode 9 (October 6)
The issue of trafficking is in Canadian news media all the time. But what is it? Why is the term so confusing? And why is it that matters of policing, prosecution, and prison dominate public policy discussions when learnings from the grassroots tell us a different story of what will effectively address this form of gendered violence? The realities are complicated, the impacts are highly intersectional, and Karen Campbell, Director of Community Initiatives and Policy at the Canadian Women's Foundation, helps us disentangle them.
What #Elxn44 Results Mean for Gender Justice - Episode 8 (September 22)
After a swift campaign period, the federal election has wrapped up and the results are in. What do they actually mean when it comes to gender justice matters? What policy decisions and changes do we need to keep pushing forward with, especially at this time when gender equality gains in Canada are so at risk, especially for marginalized women? Anuradha Dugal, VP of Community Initiatives at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, shares some initial reactions and provides helpful insights.
Gender Justice and #Elxn44 - Episode 7 (September 8)
The September 20th federal election approaches fast and furious. What does it mean to "vote for gender justice" this time around? Ann Decter, Senior Director of Community Initiatives and Policy at the Canadian Women's Foundation, shares key issues for us to think about as we lift our pencils at the polls. She tells us what Up For Debate, an alliance of women’s rights and gender justice advocates, is all about. Plus, she gives us insight on why the votes of women and gender-diverse people matter so much in Canada ... even if your favourite candidate loses.
Male Dominated: Harassment Beyond the Military - Episode 2 (June 30)
We've all seen the news about abuses in the military, but the problem of sexual harassment in Canada goes far beyond any one industry. On today's episode, we're asking the question; why are some industries so much worse for sexual harassment? To explore this with us, we're joined by author and women's rights advocate, Julie S. Lalonde, and Research and Training Director of AfterMeToo, Kate Cornell.